Revealed: Overwhelming support in Portsmouth's decision to sack Kenny Jackett - but timing was well off and players take brunt of blame for failed season
Pompey fans responded with an emphatic YES when asked whether the Blues made the right decision to part ways with manager Kenny Jackett during last season’s failed promotion bid.
However, the Fratton faithful were just as vehement in their opinion that the timing of the call came far too late.
Pompey parted company with Jackett on March 14 – less than 24 hours after the penalty shootout defeat to League Two Salford in their rearranged Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley.
The same weekend saw the Blues crucially drop out of the play-off places as well as League One continued – a blow which they never really recovered from as their eighth-placed finish proves.
According to the results of our Big Pompey Survey, a staggering 96.5 per cent of those who took part believed getting rid of Jackett was the right thing to do, with the Salford loss representing a fourth defeat in a row and leaving the Blues with just one win in eight.
Just 3.5 per cent of votes cast disagreed with the decision.
But just as telling was the response to the question: What did you make of the timing of Kenny Jackett's sacking?’
A whopping 87.5 per cent of fans said that the parting of ways simply came too late and should have taken place much sooner.
It’s fair to say the newly-appointed Leyton Orient boss had a difficult relationship with sections of the Fratton faithful, with previous failed promotion bids and his style of play doing him few favours.
Yet is appears the PO4 fans were eventually united in believing a new approach was needed and believing it should have happened a lot quicker than it did.
Only 7.1 per cent of fans who participated in our survey believed Jackett’s departure came at the right time.
Meanwhile, 5.4 per cent were of the opinion that the call should have waited until the end of the 2020-21 season, when the Blues’ fate would have been known.
Interestingly, only 8.5 per cent said Pompey’s final position outside of the play-offs was where they would have expected them to finish at the start of the season.
That means 91.5 per cent of fans expected more than what they eventually got from the Blues.
Nearly half, 48.3 per cent, went into the season believing automatic promotion was a realistic goal, with 1.6 per cent thinking the title was the target.
25.1 per cent thought promotion via the play-offs was attainable.
But it appears Jackett’s previous record in the play-offs swayed 16.5 per cent to believe that another failed play-off campaign was on the cards.
Of course, Pompey didn’t even make this year’s top six to feature in the play-offs.
Yet according to the fans, not all the blame can land directly on Jackett’s shoulders.
Yes, 33.2 per cent blamed the former Wolves and Millwall manager for the Blues’ failings – a figure that indirectly goes up when you take into consideration that poor recruitment in January (8.1 per cent) and the summer (8 per cent) polled significant numbers.
However, nearly half of the votes cast believed the players should take the blame, with 40.5 per cent claiming that they simply weren’t good enough.
It’s fair to suggest that new boss Danny Cowley would have sympathy with that viewpoint given the squad overhaul he has initiated since the season finished.
Yet it’s also worth considering that 10.2 per cent also recognised a lack of investment in the team, no fans inside Fratton Park and contract issues as key reasons behind Pompey’s eighth-placed finish last term.